The Difference Between Exterior and Interior Paint

color pallete for paint

Can we use indoor paints on outdoor surfaces and outdoor paints on indoor surfaces? This becomes a very valid question, especially when one variety is less expensive than the other. If they’re both essentially alike anyway, it wouldn’t hurt to just go for the cheaper type of paint. 

Now, this is a query best answered by experts in the field, like the painting contractor in Sarasota, FL. There might be a good response to it that serves one’s purpose of saving precious dollars. However, before we dig up the right information, let’s find out what the basic differences between interior and exterior paints are.

    1. Different Environments
      Interior paint is meant for aesthetic and decoration purposes only. Interior paint can be scrubbed, be more resistant to physical damage, and prevent dampness. It’s also safer for breathing. On the other hand, exterior paint is exposed to all types of harsh conditions brought upon it by the weather. Exterior paint needs extra additives for protection from ultraviolet rays, fungal growth, and moisture.
    2. Fade Resistance
      Interior paint doesn’t have to be fade resistant as they’re not subjected to intense heat from the sun. Exterior paint has to possess that quality. Without it, the paint applied outside the house will no longer be visible before the year’s over and will need a touch-up. Generally, it’s worth mentioning here that yellow, orange, and red are the colors that are most vulnerable to losing their gloss.
    3. Resins
      When it comes to the chemical binder used for making the paint stick to the surface, interior paint uses a more binding variety, which also makes it easier to clean. The resins in exterior paint are flexible or softer so that they can easily adjust to temperature changes to prevent them from cracking. These prevent exterior paint from peeling. In Sarasota, residential painting has become an art form and should be looked into.
    4. Curing Use of Additives
      Interior paint can be dried and brought to a protected condition without help from the sun, while exterior paint needs to be exposed to sunlight. Interior paint doesn’t require additives like pesticides and fungicides, while exterior paint must have them for the needed protection of the surface. Interior paint has very low or zero Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) because it’s not safe for humans. The exterior paint has more VOC.
    5. Damage from Scuffing
      Interior paint is less likely to be damaged by brushing off the surface, and it’s also easier to clean. It’s not the same with exterior paint, which is more prone to damage like scratches when scuffed. Both interior and exterior paints are water resistant and can be cleaned with the use of water. This is probably the only thing that both varieties have in common.
    6. Are Interior and Exterior Paints Interchangeable?
      The answer is NO. Interior and exterior paints are different from each other in their properties, purposes, and uses. Simply put, one cannot be utilized in place of the other. There are advantages that interior paints have that wouldn’t survive outdoor conditions. On the other hand, the positive qualities of exterior paints may fill your home with toxic fumes. It’s best to use the aforementioned paints on the surface for which they were designed.

Professional Services vs DIY Know-How 

Again, the quandary arises for someone with a knack for using tools about whether he should do the job himself or get the pros to do it for him. A simple matter to consider in such a case is whether you have more important things to do, like a job. It usually boils down to that and whether you are experienced enough. If it’s not a definite yes for both factors, call JC Painting & Refinishing, your reliable painting contractor in Sarasota, FL.

Joshua Christopher, the owner, has been in the trade of painting and refinishing for over 25 years. To reach us, call 941-893-0891 or send us an email at

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